I had planned to write this 6 months ago on the anniversary of the loss of the baby that was not to be (you can read that story first here). But as the time came I knew deep in my soul that I was not ready. I knew there would be a day of reflection and that that day was not it. I couldn’t then tell you the exact anniversary date. I felt the passage of a solar circle but I stayed away from the calendar. I immersed myself in the present and kept busy nourishing the relationships and endeavors that lifted me up. That day came . . . that day went . . . and somewhere between then and now my mama heart found equilibrium.
Equilibrium seems such an odd word choice yet it fits for me. That first year it felt almost like I had been walking at an angle while everyone else was upright. My view of everything and everyone was a little off. My footing was not quite stable. Sometimes just a tap in the wrong spot and I would topple, right back down on the hard floor where I wept every molecule of water from my body as it released a lifetime’s worth of love that baby would never feel through my arms.
I held space for all these feelings and sat with them like trusted sisters. I watched and smiled as all the warrior women around me who reached out with their own stories of loss lived on beautifully – never forgetting but absorbing the strength and love from their brief connections and shining it out onto all those around them. Bearing witness is silently powerful.
One path to healing that I saw over and over again was the rainbow baby. How profoundly healing it would be to fill my womb and arms with vibrant life – to override those feelings of death and failure with maternal godessness. But that path is not for everyone.
I sometimes tell myself not to quit on a bad day. If you rode horses joyfully for years and then quit on your worst day of riding, for the rest of your life when you feel reigns in your hands or hear the pounding of hooves on the Earth, you would be brought right back to that moment – your last experience of falling out of the saddle. They say to get back on the horse so you are not forever locked in that state. Eventhough I had a decade of perfect, glowing baby making, growing, birthing, and caring I will forever live with the echo of the worst day of my life in my body – in the core of my feminine power.
And yet . . . much of the sadness has been replaced with peace, optimism, and even excitement for the new season of life I get to enjoy. My children are now 11, 8, and 5. My body is now my own and there is such an odd freedom and stability around that. We have shifted as a family from nesting down to soaring free – launching into a whole world of new shared experiences. In the last year we uprooted from my home of San Diego and bought our first fixer upper on Puget Sound. We have frolicked through snowfall, kayaked through fjord, and laughed into friendship. The other day we just hopped in the car and drove 2 and a half hours to a rainforest without a care (you can follow our adventures over on instagram). We’re living simply and feel so light. I’m loving it. It feels like a world of adventure lays before us and as a family we are now ready to take it. I’m happy and settled in my choice to move on from horseback riding, er, breeding. From my vantage point here on the other side, I see clearly the wisdom and rightness of this choice for me and for our family.
I am a woman – a mother – with 3 lively sons under my wing. I have a sad goodbye in my story. I’m now ready to write so much more.